Sunday, September 24, 2017

Bending Crawler Crane Booms and Servicing Power Towers

It seems to be standard operating procedure for telescopic booms to bend under load. But I'm now seeing photos of a truss boom on a crawler crane bending when it is first raised. I've already learned that windmill farms and windmill transport are good markets for crane services. The 460' barge mounted crane below and the Facebook posting I added at the end teach me that electric power transmission towers are also a good market for cranes.


A big deal in operating a crane is the radius of the load. As the boom is lowered to increase the radius of the load (the distance the load is from the pivot point), the more the center of gravity moves towards the load. If the center of gravity moves too far, it is no longer over the crawler tracks and the crane starts tipping. To keep the center of gravity centered over the tracks is why they add counterweights to the back of the housing. But if you add too many counterweights, then the crane will tip over backwards when the boom is in a raised position. When a boom is lowered to the ground, the weight of the boom itself can be too much load for the counterweight. Historically, the crane they used to help build the crawler crane would also help pick up the boom until it was high enough that the crane's counterweights could balance the boom.

In the past, crane designers solved the balancing of load and counterweights by extending the size of the pivot point using a second set of crawler tracks (stinger or X-tender), a ring, or a weight wagon on the back. Now they use VPC (Variable Position Counterweight). That is, the counterweight is mounted so that it can move towards or away from the pivot point as the load and/or radius changes. With VPC, the crane can push the counterweight out far enough to balance lifting a long boom off the ground. I've recently come across some postings that show the bend in the boom when it is raised off the ground. I think it is different people taking pictures of the same event.

Chuck Brower posted six photos. The comments indicate the boom is 460 feet and it can be raised without an assist. It also points out the "midpoint lines."
Jim Browne The extra pendants are well ahead of the mid-point to create counter-moment in the boom that resists the bending moment along its whole length. At high boom angles they apply very little moment as the boom is no longer bending as much. Its pretty clever.
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Chad Rogers posted
Booming up 405’ on a 650 on a barge!
Jerry Wood 465' of boom!
Bill Titus Big banana
Dewey Jefferson They sure are freaky when they flex like that.
[Several comments discuss the mid point bars.]

Jason Curry posted two photos with the comment: "My mentor Mr Wood is operating a big one on a barge we have a mlc up here in a barge as well."

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This seems to be the same power tower project as the above.
Ekbal Abdullah posted
I must say i really salute who ever was on this MLC [650] playing on a small barge with high boom 🙏👍

Reed Perkins commented on Ekbal Abdullah's post

Reed Perkins commented on Ekbal Abdullah's post
Mark Lacouture Looks like the barge is 120 by 120Reed Perkins 459' and 30' offset attachment.Ryan Lewis was that the job in the James RiverReed Perkins Ryan Lewis yes sir.Mike Herbert How do you put that together? Cant lay down. On land first and walk it on the barge?

Reed Perkins commented on Ekbal Abdullah's post
Mark Lacouture I was on the other side of the hook but I know that we put well over 100k out 200' from the center pin.

Reed Perkins commented on Mike Herbert's comment on Ekbal Abdullah's post
(new window)





I noticed the main boom has a bend when they disassemble the Manitowic 31000.
Copied from Manitowoc's 31000
Ben Stalvey commented on his posting
For those who have never seen Manitowoc largest crane the Manitowoc 31000.

Philippe Dumas
posted four photos with the comment: "MLC 650 VPC MAX - BOOM 146 m."
Steve Keenan Wow look at that deflection

Poseidon barge article from Ben Stalvey's posting.
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Chad Rogers posted
David Wallace Mlc 650 vpc max
James Chamberlin Irrelevant that it’s on a barge, I’m just happy to see it on mats.
Jim Browne On the James River, just south of Richmond 
Chad RogersChad and 3 others are consistently creating meaningful discussions with their posts. Ben Stalvey rented it in Virginia for transmission towers. And I assure you things were by the book.
Ron Klenk THAT'S A LOT OF WEIGHT IN ONE SPOT OF THE BARGE .

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Jim Eggers posted
[Comments indicate it is a 2250 Series 3.]
Dan Kirk commented on Jim's posting
Must of been the same day
Mark Conrad See we still had cable stay boxes to put up in this pic. 44k over 200 feet in the air hardly even felt like it had a load on. Setting some with the 14,000 with 280' of boom reminded you that you were dealing with a decent amount of weight though, haha.
Mark Conrad commented on Jim's posting
Looks like this might have been the same day? Except I was there early before the fog burned off and had it boomed down and ready for inspection, haha.
Jim Eggers Yes it was
Mike Weaver commented on Amos' posting
just a tad short of max
[You can see some deflection in the boom at this angle. I wonder how low the boom can go.]
Dave Faul posted
MLC 650 341 main 292 luffer first time in Manitowoc history
Video of the boom being raised (source)
Rune Rikstad posted
Soon ready for the next turbine in the north of Sweden.
Jordan Eric Dworaczyk How much boom?
Rune Rikstad 138+12m [492']
Jerry Wood posted four photos with the comment:
I would like to share my photos of my experience with a Manitowoc MLC 650 VPC-MAX S-2 on a Bardge, with 459.3ft of boom wind attachment @ 41°.Very nice piece of equipment! The company i work for has a lot of the sweet old cranes from 3900, 4000, 4100, ringers, towers. We also have a 16000, two 2250, and a MLC 300.
Shawn Kennedy Look at the banana in that boom! Sheesh
Joe Hyde I think that 650 has moved onto Quebec now,, still a lot of boom and accessories in the Baltimore yard though....
Ben StalveyBen and 4 others manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Manitowoc Crane Enthusiasts. Very nice sharp crane did this one have the wide pads
Jerry WoodJerry and 211 others joined Manitowoc Crane Enthusiasts within the last two weeks. Give them a warm welcome into your community! That's correct!
Frank Pasalano Jr. Sweet pics. What size barge is it on
Jerry WoodJerry and 211 others joined Manitowoc Crane Enthusiasts within the last two weeks. Give them a warm welcome into your community! 120' × 120' persiden bardge
Jerry Bennett I can't imagine that much boom on a barge
Jerry WoodJerry and 211 others joined Manitowoc Crane Enthusiasts within the last two weeks. Give them a warm welcome into your community! It handled it very nice. List or trim was never more than 0.3° the vpc balanced everything very well!
Steven Mernit Jack-up barge?
Jerry WoodJerry and 211 others joined Manitowoc Crane Enthusiasts within the last two weeks. Give them a warm welcome into your community! No, it was floating!

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Jerry Wood posted four photos with the comment: "Busy day! The big red monster is back."
Jerry Wood 449.5 with wind tip.
[A comment indicates 880,000 lbs of counterweight.]

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Ben Stalvey Sweet both MLC 650 ad MLC 300

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Clayton Korzekwa posted three photos with the comment: "Put a MLC 300 VPC together this morning 252’ main."
Ben Stalvey Sweet wind farm job?
Clayton Korzekwa Ben Stalvey yes sir.
[In photo 1 it looks like they have a 2250 to help build the MLC300. The 2250 probably handles the base tower segments and then the MLC300 comes a long and does the higher stuff.]

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Robert Halverson posted
Getting ready to boom her up
Ben Stalvey It seems several MLC 300 are replacing the 16000. Must have a better chart for wind applications.

Steve Worley commented on Robert's post
[The man puts into perspective how big these booms are.]

Norbert Schindler commented on Robert's post
[I wish they would specify the model]
Phillip Permenter commented on a post
Ben Stalvey wow that is alot boom and bow
[MLC650]



End of boom bending section and beginning of electrical transmission section.


Kevin Foran posted
Austin Schimschat On a barge?
Kevin Foran Yes series 2 vpc max 459ft with wind top [Mlc 650]
Kevin Foran Took it like a champ barge didn't even move lol
Austin Schimschat Footprint of the barge?
Kevin Foran 132x132
Kevin Foran James River in Virgina by richmond
Slim Cooper Can you boom up enough to reach the hook from the deck? Looks like you would have to be topped up almost to the stops. Hope you don't get too big of a wake going by when doing that. [Unfortunately, I never saw an answer to this question.]
Jim Browne What are they reaching up to? Transmission towers?
Kevin Foran Yes towers over the river.
Kevin Foran posted six photos.
Ben StalveyGroup Admin Mlc 650
Brenton Kimble Why so much boom?
Kevin Foran High line towers to replace I guess they are over 400 or so I hear.
Kevin Foran I think all the wind boom u can put a little over 500 in it and get it off the ground.....wild.
Eric Thomas It is. Very wild 500 feet of main boom is crazy enough let alone picking it up unassisted.


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Lucas B Sustrich commented on a posting about the cold
Yep, had to come down and clean my anos
I did not understand what he meant until his next comment (picture below). He meant get the ice off of his anemometer so that he can get accurate wind speed measurements. He has to stop work if the wind speed gets too high.
Lucas B Sustrich commented on a posting about the cold

Amos Padgett posted
Mike Weaver SIDE SHOT SATURDAY
[I think this is an 18000.]
Mike Weaver commented on Amos' posting
just a tad short of max
[You can see some deflection in the boom at this angle. I wonder how low the boom can go.]

Wind Turbines have grown enough that they are using some really long booms to top them out.
Dave Kovach posted
Booming up Ben Mueller Sr. big unit [370']
Dave Kovach Stephen Randolph MLC650 with maxStephen Randolph Dave Kovach
Looking forward to putting some time in the seat of one.
I enjoy the 16000 & 18000

But with the size of these turbines going up, its only a matter of time before I end up in one
Alex Craib That's the scary bit but you have to keep going once you start.....

Thomas Seaman II Bill Strealy I just rememer how crazy it was booming up and the head section was 8” off the ground and the middle still on Dunnagelol
Bill Strealy Thomas Seaman II Right on, deflection is concerning to see.
Sean Brennan Designed for it.
Read the manual and you'll be fine.

David Goekler commented on Dave's post

Alex Black commented on Dave's post
Best I got
Jay Schell commented on Dave's post
For a 16000WA, 301' This is the best I can do. LOL.
Since this was posted on the same day as the above and since I came across a "just boomed up" comment, I presume this is the same crane.
Zach Howdeshell posted
She looks ready to stack some turbines
[The comments have detailed shots of the connection of the bridal and pendants to the maxxer.]


Erecting Electric Power Towers


I assume this is the Poseidon Barge crane pictured above during assembly at work on one of the towers.
Chuck Brower posted

Facebook resolution of part of the above photo
Chuck Brower posted eight photos:
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And the disassembly of the tower continues. Poseidon Barge added four photos with the comment: "More great shots of Cianbro at work on Poseidon P-10's! Yes, that is a Manitowoc MLC650!!!!"

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(new window) "The tallest crane boom used on a barge ... ever." At 1:45 the video says they raised the boom using the ringer crane.


Riley Anderson posted
A little 16000 demob action from today.
[I don't know what "demob" means, but judging from the other seven photos it means removing the fixed jib.]
Dustin Seles First fixed jib I’ve seen on a 16000.
Riley AndersonGroup Admin it's a conversion of a 133 luffing jib.
Gary Castagnetti posted four photos with the comment: "Erecting a high tension transmission tower in the Bay Area of California in the early 80's."
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Ernest White Jr. commented on a posting
[Working on a tower that already has wires is a puzzle. Obviously, the wires are currently de-energized. I decided they are building a tower in the foreground to replace the tower behind it. But why a tower would need replacement is still a puzzle. The old one is already carrying two circuits.]
Screenshot @ -.06
[Note how all of the bending is near the end. In two more seconds, the boom breaks.]
Screenshot @ -.04

Simon Juhnson commented on a video
[Note the bars coming down from the pendant chain to the boom a few lengths away from the end of the pendant chain. The comments on the video refer to this as a midpoint. The comments indicate the lack of midpoints is why the yellow boom failed. The Assembly Director would be at fault, but the operator should have some common sense. Even I know a boom is not supposed to bend like that.]
Michael Houkamau ahahahahahaha i have come across this problem before hilarious when you tell them whats gonna happen and you tell them i'm knocking off now so i don't become a part of the crew who brakes the boom section 5 mins later broken
Don Burkett Jr Liebherr is an awesome crane, but with that much boom in it; still should have had midpoints added....

Ben Stalvey posted several photos of an 18000. Two show the boom down for disassembly. The boom is deflected because it has a wind tip. His comment was "Big bad 18000 without maxer good for 660 tons." It was working on windmills in Denmark, WI.
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Wade Jerome Guza commented on an update
650
Phillip Williams commented on an update
650
Jamie Shields Phillip Williams whos machine was this? How much boom? The midpoints seem pretty far back.Phillip Williams Jamie Shields that was Olsen Beals I wanna say 34x something been a few years. That’s the way Manitowoc tech said I thought it looked wrong but it was right!!Jamie Shields I'll have to look that up but usual the midpoints are right behind the point on the 650s. Like the pic above.Clifford Poe Jamie Shields it changes without the vpc.
Phillip Williams commented on an update
Bobby Lambert commented on an update

Screenshot @ -4:12 by Orrin Bell
Grove 350
David Whitehead Nice 6300L
[Some of the comments are critical. For example the worker walking under the load, the use of a spreader bar for a point load, and the crane is overkill for the job. There are also some comments about the "dead zone." But I don't know what/where the dead zone is so I don't understand those comments.]

I assume the challenge below was the long radius needed to reach the tower from the nearest access point.
Ryan Schupback posted four photos with the comment: "Two piece tower demo @160'."
Ted DeJonge Last time I did one of those the weight was off by 1000# Went from having some to spare to puckered in a hurry!
Ryan Schupbach That base section ended up 600# in chart. I was hoping for more.
Ted DeJonge At least you could've set the base back down.
Ryan Schupbach Ted DeJonge that was the plan. Roll the dice on the ground.


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All Purpose Crane Training posted
Cranes and Powerline Safety
It is crucial to be aware of the electrocution hazards when working with cranes and powerlines overhead. Powerline owners should be notified of the day, time, and form of job demanded before start work near power lines along 

This operation is getting a lot of attention: a barge-mounted MLC650 with VPC-MAX dismantling two large transmission towers.

Barge-Mounted MLC650 Boosts Efficiency for Virginia Transmission Tower Replacement

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